If you haven’t already, check out my take on the Cash App and Debit card. This is my 1 year review of using this debit card (in sync with the app) to maximize my returns on normal spends.
I am a heavy tea drinker – especially when I am traveling out on the road and with Starbucks located almost everywhere, most of my purchases have been there.
While I can’t stand Chai Tea Lattes, I do take the tea bag chai which costs $2.6 and is pretty decent to be honest.
Don’t judge, quick tangent: I actually carry a box of tea bags, creamer and sugar sachets with me on really long road-trips through remote areas, stopping at gas stations for free hot water and then make my own tea – road-trips on a budget 😛
Here is a snapshot of some of the boosts I applied. As you can see, I was able to save a $1 each time. Now to some of you, a dollar may seem petty however, if you frequent coffee shops, this can add up very quickly. Stating the obvious – making your own tea and carry is cheaper, however many people who like the atmosphere or like supporting their local shops can use this to their advantage.
If you were to use the AMEX Gold card for its 4X MR Points, Chase Sapphire Reserve for its 3X UR Points on restaurant purchases – spending $2.6 hundred days out of the year ($260 total), you will get 1040 MR Points (worth ~$21 in travel) or 780 UR Points (worth ~$15.6 in travel). However, with the cash app debit card, you save $100 effectively spending only $160/year.
If you frequent Starbucks, for every purchase you make, you earn reward points (Starbucks credit card/mobile app). After 3-4 purchases you are eligible to get a free drink. However, you are still paying more per drink than the $1.6 in the case above.
While I don’t frequent cinemas too often, the few times that I did made sure to use my debit card to get those extra $3 savings. Again – $3 isn’t the end of the world for me, however, if I know I can save it without any extra work, why wouldn’t I.
If you are someone who frequents Cinemark, this is a much better deal especially when you go in to watch a movie on the discounted day of the week. My local Cinemark does $5 Tuesdays so that’s when I go instead of paying $15+ for opening night/weekend shows.
Currently there is a 10% cashback going on at grocery stores. If you shop at Kroger which has a rewards based mobile app, you can effectively bundle those two to get more savings.
Do note, these categories keep changing and I cannot say for sure they will remain forever. However, if they are there and you find them beneficial, I would always recommend activating the boost and using the debit card.
One of the reasons why I urge people not to carry debit card and instead credit cards is because of potential fraudulent activities due to lost/stolen cards.
I recently had a reader lose their wallet but not realize it until later. There were many fraud charges on their credit card which were disputed and subsequently resolved (card blocked, new card issued). However, they also had their debit card in said wallet which was linked to their Checking Account with over $1000.
Unfortunately for them, there were purchases made in excess of $300 on their debit card and the money automatically left their account. They had to wait almost three weeks before the bank cleared it out and reimbursed them the $300.
In the meantime though, the person had to pay rent and did not have anything left to pay for that month’s groceries – racking up credit card debt (but paying it off once they got back their $300). Luckily no interest or late payment were recorded on the credit card.
I personally carry my Cash App debit card with less than $10 loaded on it. The fact that I can transfer money to it immediately to (using my phone) then withdraw with no ATM fees is the best convenience and anti-theft protection I can have.
Hence I recommend every person carry this as their debit card (with a few extra perks) than say their BoA, Wells Fargo, Chase or other debit card.